Overcoming uncertainties in proton treatment planning

Author(s): Matthew Lowe

Hospital: The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

Reference: RAD Magazine, 49, 576, 11

Excerpt: 

Proton beam therapy takes advantage of the physical properties of high energy protons as they slow down and stop within a patient. Contributing no further dose beyond their finite range, proton beams can spare more distal tissue and reduce the integral dose to the patient. But, for proton beam therapy, this strength is also its weakness. The dose distribution stopping within the patient generates steep dose gradients which, if mispositioned, can result in large dose differences.

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